Find a Security Clearance Job!

Military

 

SHAPE NEWS SUMMARY & ANALYSIS 09 DECEMBER 2002

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

NATO-RUSSIA

         Russia, NATO agree cooperation can build new security order

BALKANS

         Study lays out U.S., EU moves before removing peacekeepers from Balkans

         Crisis looms after Serbian poll failure

ESDP

         Britain set to spurn plan for EU defense procurement

IRAQ

         German official:  Berlin received no formal U.S. request for AWACS

         Iraq dossier under scrutiny

BELGIUM-DEFENSE

         Defense Minister appoints new CHOD

 

NATO-RUSSIA

 

         Russia and NATO said Monday that their cooperation in the global fight against terrorism can provide the framework for a new international security order, reports AFP.  According to the dispatch, NATO Secretary General Robertson told a meeting of the NATO-Russia Joint Council in Moscow discussing the role of armed forces in fighting terrorism that the threat to world security required a new concerted approach.  "NATO cannot go it alone.  Perhaps the clearest lesson of the past decade is that transnational security threats can only be met with multinational security cooperation," Lord Robertson reportedly said, adding:  "This is an era when Russia and the member states of NATO finally set aside their mutual suspicions and outdated stereotypes and became serious about joining forces."  The October theater hostage-taking in Moscow by Chechen separatists was "the latest symptom of a disease that is spreading through the international system," he continued.  Moscow's Channel One TV quoted Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov saying at the conference that international terrorism poses the greatest threat to the international community and all countries, without exception.  Against this background, it carried a correspondent at the conference explaining:  "The job of the military in the last century, the defense of national territory against foreign armies, is out of step with current reality.  The number one threat today is international terrorism."  

 

BALKANS

 

         According to AP, a study released Monday warned that the United States and Europe must not abandon the Balkans or years of internationally enforced peace will be replaced by severe instability and probably terrorism.  The study, compiled for the Center for Preventive Action, a conflict-prevention arm of the Council on Foreign Relations,  reportedly recommended that troubled Balkan governments be assured of the economic, political and security benefits that would come from changing their systems and cooperating with European standards and institutions.  At the same time, it said they should be explicitly warned that a return to the ethnic hatred and violence of the past and refusal to cooperate with their neighbors would be punished by international isolation and withholding of financial aid.  The dispatch adds that among other things, the study recommended a reorganization of the current peacekeeping involvement around the EU's Stabilization and Association Process as a route to eventually bring five Balkan countries in to the EU and NATO's PFP program.  It suggested that the goal for ending an international presence in the region would be 2010.  The Balkans remain a tinderbox for ethnic tensions and criminality, according to a report which urges the United States, the EU and international aid groups to play more forceful roles in rebuilding the region, writes the New York Times.  The report contends that NATO must expand its efforts to restructure the region's militaries to help ensure that they are brought under civilian control.  NATO can use the enticement of affiliation to encourage reforms, it argues.  It also urges NATO to reaffirm its long-term commitment to maintain peacekeeping forces in the region.  It  asserts that the United States must play a vital role through its economic assistance and military presence.  It urges against reducing either troops or aid, saying the United States sets the tone for other countries' policies toward the Balkans, stresses the article. 

 

         Serbia is on the brink of a political crisis after the latest attempt to hold presidential elections failed when too few people turned up to make the result valid, said the BBC World Service.  The program reported that fewer than 45% of voters cast their ballots-falling below the 50% required for the poll to count-repeating a fiasco seen in October, when the first round of voting was also declared invalid for not reaching the 50% threshold.  It added that the main challenger, President Kostunica, who won almost 60% of votes cast on Sunday and got two-third of the votes first time round, had vowed to contest the result, saying the electoral lists were rigged.  The broadcast considered that the bitter enmity between Kostunica and his political rival, Prime Minister Djindjic, means the scene is now set for a power struggle which could rip the Serbian political establishment apart.  It asserted that Kostunica is keen to secure the presidency before the Yugoslav federation is disbanded in the next few months and replaced by a loose union of its two constituent states, Serbia and Montenegro.  "Kostunica is currently Yugoslav president, a post which will cease to exist under the new union.  Serbian analysts are speculating that Kostunica's party may seek to destabilize, even to bring down the Serbian government, in an attempt to prevent Kostunica from being sidelined by Djindjic," added the program 

 

ESDP

 

         According to the Financial Times, Britain will this week reject joint proposals by France and Germany for an EU defense-procurement agency, arguing instead for an alternative that would develop and vet countries' defense capabilities.  The newspaper adds that the proposals, which Britain will reportedly champion at the European Convention on the future of Europe, are part of British lobbying over ESDP.  It claims that Britain intends to resist the Paris-Berlin idea of Europe-wide procurement. The British idea is a recognition that the EU might fail in its attempts to raise defense spending closer to that of the United States, says the newspaper, adding:  Only last week,  Germany announced a series of defense cuts.  Instead, London wants to focus efforts on filling gaps in capability, such as the longstanding shortfall in airlift capacity and on vetting the quality of equipment. 

 

IRAQ

 

         Berlin's DDP quotes Kerstin Mueller, Alliance 90/Greens, state minister in the Foreign Ministry, saying Monday that Germany has not received a formal U.S. request for AWACS aircraft. The dispatch recalls that Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Dec. 8,  reported that at a NATO meeting last week, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz had asked for the supply of AWACS aircraft with allied and German soldiers in the event of a war against Iraq.  ZDF television, Dec. 8, carried a government spokesman reiterating that Germany would not participate with military means in a war against Iraq.  The program interpreted the spokesman's statement as the reply to Wolfowitz' demand.  It stressed, however, that one-third of the crews of the AWACS are Bundeswehr soldiers.  Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung quotes German military sources saying meanwhile that a withdrawal of the German component from the AWACS would be "a major calamity for NATO."  The AWACS are operated by multinational crews, which also comprise German service personnel, stresses the newspaper, speculating that if the German government refused to provide the German personnel for the AWACS, the functioning and the readiness of the early warning system could be jeopardized.  The article also quotes the foreign affairs spokesman for the opposition CDU/CSU parliamentary group warning that a wavering by the German government on this issue would further deepen the rift between Germany and the U.S.  Moreover, the spokesman reportedly added, Germany would put NATO in great difficulties.  "The issue of the reliability of an Alliance partner will be raised if German participation is called into question whenever a request is made, be it the Patriot air defense system, the use of airspace or facilities, or, in this case, the AWACS aircraft. The other nations would then have to ask the question:  "Why are the Germans member of NATO at all?  It this regard, the question of whether Germany continues to support the AWACS units, would be of significant importance to the future of U.S.-German relations and of NATO itself," the spokesman is further quoted saying.

 

         Electronic media report that UN weapons experts have begun examining Iraq's massive weapons dossier to assess whether it complies with Security Council resolutions. 

 

BELGIUM-DEFENSE

 

         De Standaard, Dec. 7, reported that Defense Minister Flahaut had announced that Belgian Air Force Lt. Gen. August Van Daele had been appointed as the new chief of defense, a position formerly known as chief of the General  Staff.  The newspaper added that Gen. Van Daele would replace Adm. Herteleer effective Jan. 1, 2003 for a four-year term.  He would be promoted to the rank of four-star general.  

 

 FINAL ITEM



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list